Estate families were harassed
A NUMBER of families and individuals in Michael J Sinnott Drive were being 'harassed' at the time of the alleged assaults in July 2008, Sergeant PJ Murphy said on Monday.
Sergeant Murphy, who was appointed to Castlebridge Garda Station shortly after the alleged assaults, said the Whitty family were among those being 'harassed' through anti-social behaviour.
His initial involvement with the incident was to see what had happen the Whitty family's kittens, which were strangled and hung from the wing mirrors of their car while they were on holiday.
'It did happen, but I couldn't establish who the culprits were,' said Sgt Murphy, who was asked by Eva Lalor, for the Whittys, if there was a lot of anti-social behaviour in Michael J Sinnott Drive at the time.
Sgt Murphy said there was and that there was a problem not just with a number of young people on the estate, but young people from elsewhere in Castlebridge coming into the estate. The Sergeant said that in their efforts to deal with the issue a number of behaviour warrants were issued.
'A number of families and individuals were being harassed on this estate, including the Whitty family,' said Sgt Murphy. He pointed out that Stephen Whitty's wife was recovering from cancer at the time and said his impression was that they were a couple who looked after their kids well, ensuring their education and trying to do their best for them.
Sgt Murphy said they returned from holiday prior to the incident to find their house egged and their kittens strangled and tied to the wing mirrors of the car, which was also egged.
The Sergeant reckoned ' that may have been the straw that broke it', adding that Stephen Whitty Jnr was attached to the kittens.